Toronto’s Best New Restaurants: Noorden


Jennifer Gittins and Michael van den Winkel have cornered the (admittedly small) Toronto market for Dutch-Indonesian cuisine. The kitchen of Little Sister, their midtown bar, turns out stunningly complex Indonesian stews and skewered meats. Across Yonge, they recently replaced Quince, a nice—if generic—bistro, with Noorden, which has a more emphatically Dutch, potato-driven menu that forays into Southeast Asia.

Jennifer Gittins and Michael van den Winkel.

I recommend going with a group of friends—no low-carb dieters allowed—and sharing everything on the menu, especially the bitterballen (potato croquettes with hot mustard), ribs glazed with sambal, grilled cabbage (more sambal, plus the heat of rendang oil), ribbons of squash carpaccio with candied pepitas and micro-cubes of beet (for a light breather), and a “stamppot” (a mashed-potato boat filled with gravy and smoky bacon). One forkful will fill you up for a week.

The gut-busting rijsttafel feast at Noorden, for groups of six or more, includes 20-plus dishes—and a hefty helping of potatoes and rice for good measure.

This is drinking food, best accompanied by a gin cocktail (the bar offers 50-plus varieties). I killed a budding cold with an Angry Dutchman, which combines Bols Genever, elderflower liqueur and an over-generous dose of chili water. And I’m pres­ently taking names for a rijsttafel—a book-ahead 23-dish feast of rice, meat and, yes, potatoes.

2110 Yonge St., 416-488-2110

The genever-based Angry Dutchman cocktail combines Bols with elderflower liqueur and a bold splash of chili water.

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